Sensex, Nifty May Follow Asian Peers Lower

Indian shares may follow Asian peers lower on Friday as crude oil and copper prices slumped and caution set in ahead of the all-important U.S. jobs report due out later in the day.

Also, six Federal Reserve officials, including Fed Chair Janet Yellen, will air their views on the economy and interest rates later today.

Oil prices hovered near five-month lows while copper edged up slightly after posting its biggest fall since 2015. Benchmark indexes in Australia, China, Hong Kong and Taiwan are down between 0.4 percent and 0.8 percent.

U.S. stocks ended narrowly mixed overnight as oil prices continued to sag on expectations for a recovery in Libyan production, economic reports proved to be a mixed bag and the House of Representatives approved a bill to replace Obamacare with a Republican healthcare plan.

European stocks rallied on Thursday as investors cheered a string of positive corporate results and a snap opinion poll suggested that Emmanuel Macron will win the French presidential election against Le Pen on May 7.

The pan-European Stoxx Europe 600 index rose 0.7 percent to close at almost 21-month high, France’s CAC 40 index climbed 1.4 percent to end at its highest level since 2008 and the German DAX rallied 1 percent, while the U.K.’s FTSE 100 rose 0.2 percent.

Closer home, the benchmark index BSE Sensex rose about 0.8 percent on Thursday and the Nifty index added half a percent to reach a record high as ICICI Bank reported an almost threefold increase in March quarter net profit and the Union Cabinet approved promulgation of an ordinance to amend the Banking Regulation Act to deal with the problem of bad loans. The rupee declined by 3 paise to end at 64.17 per dollar.

Pharma stocks could be in focus today after Wockhardt’s Q4 net loss widened to Rs. 175 crore. Apollo Tyres, Eicher Motors, Equitas and Shoppers Stop will unveil their quarterly results later in the day.

by RTT Staff Writer

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